Scotland prices soar despite independence storm

Scotland’s house prices appear to be immune to the independence debate in the country as they recorded their largest increase in 50 months, LSL Property Services revealed.

They rose by £1,680 in January while annually they climbed by £6,073, the largest rise since September 2010.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The enthusiasm of property investors suggests the independence debate is having no impact on confidence within the Scottish housing market.

“The market has bounced back fast as it gathers the fruits of the wider economic recovery.

“Whether the possibility of Scottish Independence throws up all sorts of question marks such as the economic cost of a separate monetary system for Scotland, currency risks, changes to stamp duty and land tax, the property market seems currently unaffected.”

The spring market in Scotland is projected to see more lending to first-time buyers thanks to cheaper rates, a boost in high-loan to value mortgages and Help to Buy.

The lack of property supply is boosting competition between new and previous buyers, propping up prices.

Sexton added: “Mortgage finance – for those who can access it – is at its cheapest for some time.

“This is sustaining activity in all sections of the market, specifically buy-to-let investors and homeowners looking to upgrade.”

RBS and Standard Life have threatened to leave Scotland and focus on England if Scotland votes yes for independence.

If there was a change in currency there could be corresponding risks, with changes to business costs corresponding to job implications.